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| 2 minutes read

How to Beat the Commoditization Trap in Professional Services

By virtue of working in a high-value service line, it is likely that there are a finite group of organisations/individuals you care about influencing.  Often, for the professionals we work with - attorneys, consultants, advisors - this will be 10's of people in a specific role and/or industry.  The equilibrium for you, and your practice, to establish is how finite you decide to make your pool of potential clients and contacts. 

Developing Client Empathy 

Once you have this list of target clients clearly mapped out, you will know better than anyone else how your expertise is uniquely situated to solving these businesses' pain points, accommodating their complex requirements, and unlocking opportunities to drive their future growth.  

Flipping this scenario on its head and putting yourself in your clients' shoes - do your prospective clients know how your services can uniquely help them and specifically do they understand the nuances of your service offering? If not, how are you expecting that they discover you and your specialist services? 

Demonstrating Expertise 

Because of the advent of the internet, your clients are able to do far more of their own research than they historically would have been able to.  They have a plethora of information at their fingertips and will use this to shape their decision-making and buying process when going to market for an external solution.

For clients you have worked with in the past, they will know firsthand how your capabilities are suited to solve their challenges.  For those that you have not engaged with, demonstrating your market expertise is a practical way to connect with your target contacts.  

You can leverage a multitude of channels to achieve this from speaking at events, networking, to publishing and sharing relevant content.  By putting yourself again in your clients' shoes, you can map out where it is that your expertise needs to be visible in order to make an impact.  Harnessing the power of the internet means that your clients can access your insight on their terms, giving you the capacity to influence their buying behaviours at scale. 

The Results - be recognized for your expertise.  Drive referrals and recommendations

The value in demonstrating expertise as the research below highlights: having visible expertise generates 61% more referrals than your reputation alone.

By creating content today around topics you want to be recognized and known for in 2-3 years' time, will shape the nature of the referrals you get and thus the work you start to deliver.  Demonstrating your expertise on a regular basis around topics relevant to your existing and prospective clients will work twofold: firstly, by keeping you front of mind with existing clients; and secondly, helping you to open dialogue with your target contacts.

The last piece of this jigsaw puzzle is to ensure you are effectively distributing your market insight.  This is what makes your expertise visible.  Having your key contacts engage with your expertise will reaffirm your association as their go-to trusted advisor.  In reaching this status you will be far less likely to fall into the commoditization trap. 

To avoid the commoditization trap, you need to do what the fastest growing firms are doing — make your expertise more visible. In fact, firms that have visible expertise generate 61% more referrals than their general reputation alone would garner.


e2e, professional services, marketing, best practice

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